cover image Sugar on the Bones: A Hap and Leonard Novel

Sugar on the Bones: A Hap and Leonard Novel

Joe R. Lansdale. Mulholland, $29 (336p) ISBN 978-0-316-51329-6

Edgar winner Lansdale excels in his savagely funny 13th case for East Texas PIs Hap Collins and Leonard Pine (after The Elephant of Surprise). When Minnie Polson consults with Hap and his wife, Brett, about the blackmail she’s been subject to, the duo’s off-color jokes dissuade her from hiring them. Hap brushes off the encounter, but when Minnie dies in a suspicious house fire, he and Brett feel compelled to investigate. With Leonard’s help, they turn up evidence of a complicated insurance money scheme, with suspects including Minnie’s missing daughter, Alice, and Minnie’s estranged husband, Al, who left her for a gold-digging stripper named Earline. As the detectives tease out the motivations of each of Minnie’s relatives, they run afoul of a ruthless crime ring and have little choice but to employ the services of mercenaries Vanilla and Jim Bob. Blood-splattered action and a welcome spoonful of irreverent humor make this a surefire hit. It’s a high-water mark for the series. Agent: Danny Baror, Baror International. (July)